The aim of the study was to determine the risk factors for binge-watching (BW) among Polish medical and non-medical students.

Material and methods:
A STROBE-compliant cross-sectional observational study, was carried out in Poland from July 2022 – March 2023. The web-based survey consisted of a personal questionnaire, a Binge-Watching Behaviour Questionnaire, a Scale of Motivation for Watching TV Series, a shortened version of the Ryff Well-Being Scale, and the De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale. Inclusion criteria were being a student and providing informed consent to participate. The study involved 726 respondents (70.5% female) with an average age of 22.41 (SD=3.89), including 308 (44%) medical students.

In the group of Polish medical students, the regression model was well-fitted F(10,287)=30.189; p<0.001, R2=0.496, and the risk factors were escape motivation (β=0.416; p<0.001), psychological well-being (β=-0.165; p=0.003), emotional loneliness (β=0.152; p=0.014), and social loneliness (β=-0.118; p=0.031). Among Polish students of other majors, the regression model was well-fitted F(10,378)=46.188; p<0.001, R2=0.538, and the influence of escape motivation (β=0.456; p<0.001), entertainment motivation (β=0.258; p<0.001), the psychological well-being of students (β=-0.134; p=0.004), and emotional loneliness (β=0.111; p=0.032) was demonstrated.

Students are in a high-risk group for behavioural addiction known as binge-watching. Emotional loneliness, the desire to escape from everyday life problems, and reduced psychological well-being intensified binge-watching in all the studied groups. Entertainment motivation and social loneliness differentiated the groups of Polish medical and non-medical students in terms of BW risk factors.

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